Make a fish dish that’s a breezy snap
Few fresh foods are more tempting than a tomato in season. The only “preparation” it needs is to be pulled off the vine, sliced, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Done!
But until those perfect specimens appear, try this recipe’s roasted tomato vinaigrette. It’s a knockout. Any tomato will do — beefsteak, plum, cherry — as long as it’s ripe.
To determine its ripeness, simply smell the stem end, which should boast an intense aroma. Then roast the winners to eliminate excess water and concentrate their flavor. Finally, puree them with sherry vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. (You can use balsamic, white or red wine vinegar instead.)
The fish is best with a light crust achieved by dipping the fillets in flour to start. (My favorite is Wondra flour, the kind my grandmother used.)
The two sauces can be made as many as four days ahead. Keep them covered and chilled, then whisk before serving. 6 servings
Serve with grilled corn on the cob or your favorite slaw. Ingredients FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:
1 pound ripe tomatoes, cut into O-inch wedges cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper 1K to 2 tablespoons sherry
Water (optional) FOR THE LEMON AIOLI:
N cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (low-fat if you prefer)
1 teaspoon finely grated zest and 2 teaspoons juice (from 1 lemon)
1 teaspon minced garlic FOR THE FISH:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin
Six 6-ounce firm-fleshed white fish fillet pieces (O to 1 inch thick, skin-on or skinless), such as tilapia, catfish or bass Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper Wondra or all-purpose flour,
for coating the fish Tarragon leaves or chopped
chives, for garnish Directions FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the tomatoes, cut sides up, on a rimmed baking sheet.
Drizzle them evenly with 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle them with O teaspoon salt and N teaspoon pepper.
Bake (middle rack) until they have shriveled and browned slightly, about 30 minutes. Transfer immediately, along with any pan juices, to a blender.
Add 1K tablespoons of the sherry vinegar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil; puree until silky smooth. Taste and add the remaining vinegar, as needed.
Season lightly with salt and pepper; add water, as needed, to make the vinaigrette spoonable. FOR THE LEMON AIOLI:
Whisk together the mayo, the lemon zest and juice, and the garlic in a bowl. FOR THE FISH:
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over mediumhigh heat. Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper and dip it in the flour, coating it on both sides and shaking off the excess.
Once the oil shimmers, add the fish to the pan and cook it just until it is opaque and golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
Place a fillet on each plate. Spoon the vinaigrette generously over each portion and drizzle the lemon aioli on top. Garnish with the tarragon or chives and serve immediately.